I recently contributed this piece to a fantastic site called Blisstree. You can check out the original post (and my enormous head) there or read my pasted version below:
Summer means more outdoor exercise, but also beach, pool, and backyard parties with (let’s face it) lots of drinking. Plus, it’s hot, and (if you’re where we are) way too humid. We love a good summer afternoon barbecue, but heat waves and multiple mojitos can leave us feeling exhausted and sluggish. Foodtrainers to the rescue.
• Water and White Tea, Not White Wine: Much of how we feel during the summer has to do with our hydration status. Both sweating and alcohol can dehydrate us, so pump up your water drinking with 2-4 cups more than your norm (10 cups a day for most people). And bad news: Avoid drinking at lunchtime altogether. That glass of wine or couple of beers at a midday barbecue is a surefire way to crash. Instead, we’re huge iced tea fans in warm weather. Try Republic of Tea brand tea bags with fresh mint or lemon or orange slices.
• Olives and Pickles: Not what you’d expect from nutritionists, but we tell our active clients to include some salty foods in their summer food plan. This is something athletes are accustomed to and a trick we can all benefit from. Yes, sodium is the villain behind bloating, but it’s also one of the electrolytes lost via sweat. The key is striking that balance where you feel energized but not enormous. Note: Healthy salty foods only, so chips and the salt on your margarita don’t count. 1-2 healthy sodium sources a day is perfect during a heat wave.
• Be Cool – as a Cucumber: Choose fruits and vegetables with high water content. In addition to cucumbers nothing says summer like a slice of watermelon. And cukes and watermelon even work well together.
• M & M Smoothies: Don’t get too excited – last we checked, M&M’s didn’t have an anti-sluggish claim to fame. But smoothies are a refreshing way to get fluid into your breakfast or snacks. Our secret energy-boosting ingredients are matcha (a powdered green tea) and maca, which is a South American root with fatigue-fighting properties sold in powdered form.
• Summer Soups: Nobody wants to eat anything hot and steamy in the summertime. Cold soups made from celery, sweet potatoes, or avocados are perfect warm weather meals. And don’t forget gazpacho. Think of summer soups as vegetable smoothies eaten with a spoon. You get a couple cups of much-needed liquid, and often potassium or B vitamins which help with mood and energy.
• Stay in Good Humor: Ice cream may temporarily cool you down, but, sadly, it’ll leave you feeling like a summer slug. (Plus, it’ll blow your diet.) Instead, try frozen banana slices or frozen red grapes. And don’t roll your eyes until you try them, they’re really good.
Have you ever made any heat eating mistakes? Any of the foods above you’re going to try? Do you agree with us that day drinking is a disaster?